03/05/2015 12:05PM

Daredevil kicks off sophomore season in redrawn Swale

Barbara D. Livingston
Daredevil will make his 3-year-old debut in the Grade 2 Swale.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – If at first you don’t succeed ...

That will be the motto for five of the eight 3-year-olds entered in Saturday’s $200,000 Swale at Gulfstream Park, including Kentucky Derby hopeful Daredevil, who’ll try for the second time to launch his 2015 campaign in the Grade 2 fixture postponed a week ago due to heavy rain.

Six of the seven horses slated to contest the Swale last Saturday went back in the entries, although Souper Colossal will scratch. He was cross-entered in Saturday’s Tampa Bay Derby but will miss that race as well with a fever. There also were two new shooters when the Swale was redrawn, Bluegrass Singer and Social Request.

:: GULFSTREAM PARK: Get PPs, watch Saturday’s card live

Daredevil was an easy winner of his first two starts at 2, posting a 6 1/4-length maiden special weight victory going six furlongs and a 2 1/2-length tally over Upstart in the one-mile Champagne Stakes, with both of those wins coming over sloppy tracks. Daredevil suffered his only setback when finishing a well-beaten 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Daredevil earned 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points for his win in the Grade 1 Champagne. The Swale carries no points for the Derby.

Daredevil drew post 1 for the original running of the Swale and drew the rail again when the race was redrawn Wednesday.

“He has proven he can win at six furlongs and a mile, and we didn’t feel he was ready yet for the Fountain of Youth,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “Postponing the race a week is not ideal, but we’re all in the same boat, and it puts him on the same [Derby prep] schedule as Carpe Diem.”

Bluegrass Singer adds a new wrinkle to the race, turning back in distance off a series of longer outings, including a victory in the one-mile Mucho Macho Man Stakes on New Year’s Day. Bluegrass Singer set the pace in both the Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth stakes, finishing third and sixth in the Grade 2 events decided at 1 1/16 miles.

“He’s feeling good and acting good, so I figured, ‘Why not?’ ” said trainer Marcus Vitali. “I got an extra week when they brought the race back. I also think he’s better suited to the shorter distance.”

X Y Jet has been narrowly defeated in each of his two starts since joining trainer Jorge Navarro’s barn near the tail end of his 2-year-old season, missing a neck behind Catalina Red’s track record-setting performance in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa and a half-length to the odds-on Barbados here last month in the Grade 3 Hutcheson.

Ready for Rye figures to improve off his second-place finish behind Barbados as the even-money favorite in the Spectacular Bid. Ready for Rye earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure, the second-highest in this field, for his maiden win at Belmont in his 2-year-old finale.

:: DRF Live: Watch live handicapping analysis of Saturday’s biggest races, starting at 12:30 Eastern

Key contenders

Daredevil (Last 3 Beyers: 57-107-96)

* Owns by far the top Beyer of any member of the Swale field – the 107 he earned for his easy win in the Champagne.

Daredevil has been away four months, but Pletcher owns a 23 percent success rate with horses coming off layoffs of two to six months over the last three years, according to DRF Formulator.

X Y Jet (Last 3 Beyers: 92-88-72)

Has had a race over the track, is a proven commodity at seven furlongs, and “is doing amazing,” according to trainer Navarro.

Ready for Rye (Last 3 Beyers: 88-96-77)

He loses regular rider Javier Castellano to Daredevil and picks up Luis Saez, who has won with just 7 of 71 starters for trainer Tom Albertrani over the last five years, according to Formulator.

Bluegrass Singer (Last 3 Beyers: 81-93-93)

Reunites with Edgar Prado, who guided him to an easy entry-level allowance win going a mile here in his 2-year-old finale.